2021-07-28 Africa North
Libya militia leader Mohammed al-Kani diagnosed with rigor mortis
[MIDDLEEASTEYE.NET] Mohammed al-Kani, a Libyan militia leader who has been accused of murdering hundreds of civilians in the western Libyan town of Tarhuna, was announced dead on Tuesday by several local sources.
Kani was the leader of the notorious Kaniyat militia, also known as the 7th Brigade or the 9th Brigade, part of eastern commander Khalifa Haftar
...Self-proclaimed Field Marshal, served in the Libyan army under Muammar Qadaffy, and took part in the coup that brought Qadaffy to power in 1969. He became a prisoner of war in Chad in 1987. While held prisoner, he and his fellow officers formed a group hoping to overthrow Qadaffy, so it's kind of hard to describe him as a Qadaffy holdover. He was released around 1990 in a deal with the United States government and spent nearly two decades in the United States, gaining US citizenship. In 1993, while living in the United States, he was convicted in absentia of crimes against the Jamahiriya and sentenced to death. Haftar held a senior position in the anti-Qadaffy forces in the 2011 Libyan Civil War. In 2014 he was commander of the Libyan Army when the General National Congress (GNC) refused to give up power in accordance with its term of office. Haftar launched a campaign against the GNC and its Islamic fundamentalist allies. His campaign allowed elections to take place to replace the GNC, but then developed into a civil war. Guess you can't win them all. Actually, he is, but slowly...
's Libyan National Army (LNA).
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The Libyan al-Mashhad news website quoted local sources as saying that Kani was "killed in a farm where he resides in Benghazi".
Journalist Mahmoud al-Misrati, who is known to be close to the LNA, quoted a military source as saying that Kani was killed "during his resistance to a raid on his residence in Benghazi to arrest him, based on two memoranda from the civil and military judiciary, based on complaints against crimes attributed to him since 2019 and before".
Misrati stated on his Facebook account that one of Kani’s companions was arrested and another was killed. A number of his associates were also arrested in separate areas of Benghazi, Ajdabiya and Tobruk, based on a note from the civil prosecutor and the military prosecutor, the journalist added.
The London-based al-Quds al-Araby newspaper also quoted local sources confirming the militia leader’s death.
The Libyan TV channel Febrayer aired footage of locals celebrating his death later on Tuesday.
TARHUNA 'WAR CRIMES'
In November, the United States unilaterally sanctioned the Kaniyat after Russia prevented a United Nations
...an idea whose time has gone...
Security Council committee from imposing sanctions.
The Kaniyat had complete control over Tarhuna, a town 60km from Tripoli
...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn...
, from 2015 until May 2020, when an assault on the capital it was participating in collapsed and the militia fled east.
When forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) captured Tarhuna in May, mass graves suspected of holding hundreds of bodies began to be discovered. Over 100 corpses were also found in a local morgue, including those of children and fighters.
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